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TITLE XXI - OF PRIVILEGES
CHAPTER 1 - GENERAL PROVISIONS
Art. 3182. Whoever has bound himself personally, is obliged to fulfill his engagements out of all his property, movable and immovable, present and future.
Art. 3183. The property of the debtor is the common pledge of his creditors, and the proceeds of its sale must be distributed among them ratably, unless there exist among the creditors some lawful causes of preference.
Art. 3184. Lawful causes of preference are privilege and mortgages.
Art. 3185. Privilege can be claimed only for those debts to which it is expressly granted in this Code.
CHAPTER 2 - OF THE SEVERAL KINDS OF PRIVILEGES
Art. 3186. Privilege is a right, which the nature of a debt gives to a creditor, and which entitles him to be preferred before other creditors, even those who have mortgages.
Art. 3187. Among creditors who are privileged, the preference is settled by the different nature of their privileges.
Art. 3188. The creditors who are in the same rank of privileges, are paid in concurrence, that is on an equal footing.
Art. 3189. Privileges may exist, either on movables or immovables, or on both at once.
CHAPTER 3 - OF PRIVILEGES ON MOVABLES
Art. 3190. Privileges are either general, or special on certain movables.
SECTION 1 - OF GENERAL PRIVILEGES ON MOVABLES
Art. 3191. The debts which are privileged on all the movables in general, are those hereafter enumerated, and are paid in the following order:
1. Funeral charges.
2. Law charges.
3. Charges, of whatever nature, occasioned by the last sickness, concurrently among those to whom they are due.
4. The wages of servants for the year past, and so much as is due for the current year.
5. Supplies of provisions made to the debtor or his family, during the last six months, by retail dealers, such as bakers, butchers, grocers; and, during the last year, by keepers of boarding houses and taverns.
6. The salaries of clerks, secretaries, and other persons of that kind. [Amended by Acts 1979, No. 711, §1]
§ 1 - OF FUNERAL CHARGES
Art. 3192. Funeral charges are those which are incurred for the interment of a person deceased.
Art. 3193. If the property of the deceased is so incumbered as not to suffice for the payment of his creditors, the funeral charges may, upon the request of any of them, be reduced by the judge to a reasonable rate, regard being had to the station in life which the deceased held and which his family holds.
Art. 3194. But, in case of the reduction, the judge can never allow, at the* expense of the estate, on any account whatever, more than Five Hundred Dollars for all the* expenses occasioned by the interment of the deceased. [Amended by Acts 1954, No. 114, §1]
*English translation of French text incomplete; should include "funeral."
§ 2 - OF LAW CHARGES
Art. 3195. Law charges are such as are occasioned by the prosecution of a suit before the courts. But this name applies more particularly to the costs, which the party cast has to pay to the party gaining the cause. It is in favor of these only that the laws [law] grants the privilege.
Art. 3196. The creditor enjoys this privilege, not with regard to all the expenses which he is obliged to incur in obtaining judgment against his debtor, but with regard only to such as are taxed according to law, and such as arise from the execution of the judgment.
Art. 3197. The cost of affixing seals and making inventories for the better preservation of the debtor's property, those which occur in cases of failure or cession of property, for the general benefit of creditors, such as fees to lawyers appointed by the court to represent absent creditors, commissions to syndics; and finally, costs incurred for the administration of estates which are either vacant or belonging to absent heirs, enjoy the privileges established in favor of law charges.
Art. 3198. Not only has the creditor no privilege for the costs which are not taxed, or which are not included among those mentioned above, but he has no right to demand them even from the debtor.
§ 3 - OF EXPENSES DURING THE LAST SICKNESS
Art. 3199. The last sickness is considered to be that of which the debtor died; the expenses of this sickness enjoy the privilege.
Art. 3200. But if the sickness with which the deceased was attacked and of which he died, was a chronic disease, the progress of which was slow and which only occasioned death after a long while, then the privilege shall only commence from the time when the malady became so serious as to prevent the deceased from attending to his business and confined him to his bed or chamber.
Art. 3201. However long the sickness may have lasted after arriving at the point which prevented him from attending to his affairs, the privilege granted for the expense it has occasioned, can only extend to one year before the decease.
Art. 3202. The expenses of the last sickness comprehend the fees of physicians and surgeons, the wages of nurses, and the price due to the apothecary for medicines supplied by him to the deceased for his personal use during his last illness.
Art. 3203. The accounts relating to these expenses must be fixed by the judge, in case of dispute, after hearing testimony as to the value of the services rendered or care afforded, or as to the true value of the medicines supplied, unless there has been a contract between the parties, in which case it must be observed.
Art. 3204. This privilege subsists, not only for the expenses of the last sickness of the debtor, it subsists also for those of the last sickness of children, under his authority, but it is exercised subject to the rules laid down above.
§ 4 - OF THE WAGES OF SERVANTS
Art. 3205. Servants or domestics are those who receive wages, and stay in the house of the person paying and employing them for his service or that of his family; such are valets, footmen, cooks, butlers, and others who reside in the house.
Art. 3206. Domestics or servants must make a demand of their wages within a year from the time when they left service, but their privilege is only for the year past, and so much as is due for the present year.
Art. 3207. As to the wages of preceding years which may be due, the wages may be recovered, if there is any balanced account, note or obligation of the debtor, but they enjoy no privilege. They form an ordinary debt, for which domestics or servants come in by contribution with other ordinary creditors.
§ 5 - OF SUPPLIES OF PROVISIONS
Art. 3208. Such supplies of provisions as confer a privilege, are those which are made by retail dealers; that is, persons keeping an open shop, and selling, by small portions, provisions and liquors.
Art. 3209. Retail dealers who have furnished such supplies, ought to demand their money within a year from the time of the first supply; but they have a privilege only for the last six months, and for the rest they are placed on the footing of ordinary creditors.
Art. 3210. Dealers by wholesale in provisions and liquors do not enjoy any privilege on the property of their debtor, further than what they have acquired by mortgage, or by a judgment duly recorded.
Art. 3211. It is not keepers of taverns and hotels alone, who are comprehended in the term masters of boarding houses, and who enjoy a privilege for their supplies, but all persons who make a business of receiving persons at board for a fixed price.
Art. 3212. Teachers and preceptors, who receive into their houses young persons to be brought up, fed and instructed, enjoy the same privilege which is given to keepers of boarding houses.
Art. 3213. The privilege of keepers of boarding houses, taverns, and other persons comprised in this class, extends to the last year due, and so much as has expired of the current year.
§ 6 - OF THE PRIVILEGE OF CLERKS
Art. 3214. Although clerks, secretaries and other agents of that sort can not be included under the denomination of servants, yet a privilege is granted them for their salaries for the last year elapsed, and so much as has elapsed of the current year. This privilege, however, can not be enforced until after that of the furnishers of provisions.
Art. 3215. [Repealed. Acts 1979, No. 709, §2]
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